As free gifts with kids’ magazines go, this is the most inspired I’ve seen for some time… not that I’m a regular buyer of such literature, you understand. But, well, I’m talking about Doctor Who Adventures here – a new fortnightly publication that was begging me to sample it. The first issue came with a free stationery set. The second, out now if you can find a copy (it seems to be very popular), has this stunning piece of merchandise taped to the front.
“What is it?” I hear you cry. “Isn’t it obvious?” I respond, incredulously. “It’s a Slitheen gas exchange.”
As regular viewers of the Christopher Eccleston-fronted series of Doctor Who will know, the Slitheen are a family of baby-faced but deadly aliens that have no qualms about, um, venting their gases when the need strikes, prompting the Doctor’s classic line from Aliens Of London: “Excuse me – do you mind not farting while I’m saving the world?”
Their guffing is explained in the story’s script as “gas exchange”, a side effect of the monsters squeezing their large green bodies into the skins of humans (and politicians) – disguises that allow them to infiltrate 10 Downing Street. Of course, it’s really just an excuse to make rude noises and giggle, and that’s fine by me.
A Slitheen-themed whoopee cushion = an absolute stroke of genius. I’d have loved to have been in the BBC Magazines office when someone came up with the idea. I bet there was dancing. And party poppers.
Unfortunately, the cushion doesn’t work as well as it should – there’s an art to coaxing a decent fart out of it that folk with less gumption than me may not have the patience to learn. But, hey, it’s a whoopee cushion with a Slitheen on the front. Isn’t that enough?
Admit it – you want one. From where I’m sitting, I can see two monsters, and one of them’s got green eyes…